Online Course: Illustrating People

Learn how to depict the human face and figure over 10 weeks on Zoom.

When, Where

  • Zoom

Discover how to illustrate the human face and figure on this online course with professional illustrator and educator Siôn Ap Tomos.

Taking inspiration from illustrators past and present, and using a variety of materials and techniques, Siôn will break down the subject into manageable chunks, guiding your depiction of facial features, form, gesture, motion, expression, age and character.

You’ll move from simpler activities to gradually more complex challenges, encouraging experimentation and broadening your experience.

The online sessions will include a mixture of technical explanations and demonstrations, analysis of illustration methods and examples, occasional live practical activities, further activities to explore between sessions and group discussions of work created with tutor feedback included.

What you'll do

  • Learn different ways of depicting facial features and expressions.
  • Depict the head and body from different angles.
  • Explore body proportions and types.
  • Capture body movement.
  • Explore ways of defining different ages and character types.
  • Do observational portraiture using a live model online.
  • Draw the clothed figure using a live model online.
  • Discover ways of working from photographic reference and your imagination.
  • Explore different drawing and painting materials and techniques, including pencils, pens, ink and watercolour.
  • Analyse a wealth of illustration examples, both older and contemporary, from which to take inspiration.
  • Benefit from group discussions and tutor feedback.

What you'll need

  • A printer or second screen
  • A3 or A4 cartridge paper (200gsm+)
  • A4 watercolour paper (220gsm+)
  • 2H, HB, 2B, 4B and 6B graphite pencils
  • Coloured pencils
  • Rubber
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Watercolour set of 10+ paints
  • Gouache paints (white, black and primary colours)
  • Waterproof black ink
  • Round brushes
  • Black fine-line pens

Class times

Live online classes will take place 7-9pm GMT on Thursday evenings from 13 January to 24 March 2022. No class during half term on 23 February.

Experience needed

No prior experience needed.

Need to know

Download and read the Essential Information for more information about what the course involves, how it works and what materials you’ll need, and the Guidance for Participants for further information.

About the tutor

Siôn Ap Tomos is a Welsh illustrator, designer and educator based in London with over 20 years’ experience. He has worked for a wide variety of clients, from museums to newspapers and advertising, on a range of subject matter, including editorial, reportage and historical illustrations. He also regularly collaborates on illustration-based educational projects with schools, galleries and hospitals. He teaches at Central Saint Martins and House of Illustration.

Read our Q&A with Siôn.

Previous students

100% of respondents rated Siôn’s previous online courses as excellent.

“Siôn is a great teacher and I learned a lot. The length of the class was great, giving us time to do some fun practical exercises as well as listening to Siôn’s presentations. His demonstrations were very useful and I really appreciated the additional videos posted between classes. The visual references were also really useful. The life drawing sessions were great.”

“Siôn was fantastic: he handled the tech really well, clearly put loads of effort in, and was really knowledgeable in a really accessible way.”

“I have never used Padlet before and really liked it. It was great to see other people’s work and to benefit from the comments that Sion gave them as well. I hadn’t done an online course before and it was much better than I’d expected. I will definitely sign up for another course.”

“It was great to be in a class with people from around the world and there was much support between students.”

“The entire course has been well worth the money and I feel I've gained a tremendous amount from it.”

See previous students’ work.

Gift this course

If you would like to gift a place on this course to someone, we can send you an e-ticket for them by email.

How it works

  • Buy a ticket below.
  • Forward your email booking confirmation to, along with the name and email address of the person you will be gifting it to.
  • We will send you a personalised e-ticket by email within 4 working days.
  • You can choose to print the voucher or email it to your recipient.


Tickets Price Number Total price
Total amount £0.00
Full online course with donation£434.50 £434.50
Full online course without donation£395.00 £395.00

Tickets are non-refundable, non-transferable and subject to our general terms and conditions. Age 18+ only.

Your ticket confirmation email may go to the email address linked to your Paypal account. Please contact immediately if you do not receive it.